Grateful for a Smooth Agency/Consultant Transition
As we’re getting ready for Thanksgiving, I wanted to talk about something not often talked about: how nonprofit clients move from one fundraising agency or consultant to another, and how this can be a smooth transition or a difficult one.
I’m very fortunate that I was recently asked to start working with an organization where its “old” agency was extremely gracious, supportive and forthcoming with any and all information. It made the transition smooth for both the nonprofit and my team.
So, thank you so much for that agency. You know who you are!
I highly recommend that all of us, agencies and consultants, who are working with nonprofits, do the same! Make the transition an easy one.
While nobody ever wants to lose a client, you also know that there will be other clients in the future, especially if you keep your reputation a good one, and you’re known as a team player. What goes around, comes around. And everybody wins, especially the people, clients, animals, planet these nonprofits serve!
There are usually four different reasons why agency/consultant transition happens:
- A new person joins the organization who wants to bring in the agency or consultant they’re comfortable with.
- A person leaves the agency, and the chemistry between client and the person(s) taking over the account is not there.
- A board or new boss comes in who wants to “change things just because it’s time for a change,” and the way the organization has always raised funds is not the way to do it, so the agency has to go.
- Results are bad, or mistakes were made. Mistakes were either not communicated well, or they were simply too big for the nonprofit and agency to handle. This is usually the least likely reason! If you own up to your mistakes and you prevent them from happening again, you can usually save the client as long as the chemistry is there.
I’ve been a consultant/small agency working with nonprofits for more than 16 years. I know that if one door closes, there’s always another door that opens, and when it does, knowing that other agencies and consultants are supportive of each other makes a world of difference. And I am extremely grateful for that.
Erica Waasdorp is one of the leading experts on monthly giving. She is the president of A Direct Solution, a company serving nonprofit organizations with fundraising and direct marketing needs, with a focus on monthly giving and appeals. She authored "Monthly Giving: The Sleeping Giant" and "Monthly Giving Made Easy." She regularly blogs and presents on fundraising, appeals and monthly giving — in person and through webinars. She is happy to answer any questions you may have about this great way of improving retention rates for your donors.
Erica has over 30 years of experience in nonprofits and direct response. She helped the nonprofits she works with raise millions of dollars through monthly giving programs. She is also very actively supports organizations with annual fund planning and execution, ranging from copywriting, creative, lists, print and mail execution.
When she’s not working or writing, Erica can be found on the golf course (she’s a straight shooter) or quietly reading a book. And if there’s an event with a live band, she and her husband, Patrick, can be found on the dance floor. She also loves watching British drama on PBS. Erica and Patrick have two step sons and a cat, Mientje.